At The O’Connell Organization, we know that there’s more to a neighborhood than just a collection of buildings. An impressive number of artists have chosen Red Hook as a home, as evidenced by the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist’s Coalition, or BWAC.
BWAC founding president John Strohbeen (left) came to the Red Hook waterfront in 1978, part of a migration of artists who arrived in pursuit of the neighborhood’s quality of light and the availability of former industrial space suitable for use as studios. The BWAC was formed that same year by 16 of the artists. To John’s right is current BWAC president Richard Capuozzo.
“We have two synergistic missions,” reads their mission statement. “To assist emerging artists in advancing their artistic careers; to present the art-of-today in an easily accessible format. For 35 years, BWAC has been exhibiting the artwork of local Brooklyn artists. Our four annual indoor exhibits and outdoor sculpture show present a wide variety of contemporary visual arts from the traditional to the experimental cutting edge. Two shows are national competitions juried from submissions from all over the USA; two are open to all local artists and one is a hybrid of both styles. BWAC recruits prestigious independent jurors to assure quality and impartial selections.”
Along with the rest of the BWAC, John is currently preparing for and accepting submissions for their 2014 spring and summer exhibition season.
The 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organization has become Brooklyn’s largest artist-run organization. Every year, over 500 artists exhibit their work to more than 18,000 visitors at BWAC’s 25,000-square-foot gallery, located in the 499 Van Brunt Street building. There’s painting, sculpture, photography, and works that defy categorization. As we said, neighbors — especially interesting neighbors — are what makes a neighborhood truly special.
Rumor has it that the first exhibition of 2014 will be on April 26, why not come down to the Red Hook Waterfront and check it out?In the meantime, you can check out their website for a list of BWAC’s upcoming events, view their online galleries, sign up for their mailing list, or even learn how your own artwork can earn a place in their waterfront art gallery, here in South Brooklyn at Red Hook.